Evidence for the Little Ice Age in upland northwestern Europe: Multiproxy climate data from three blanket mires in northern England

Webb, Julia C ORCID: 0000-0002-1652-965X, McCarroll, Julia, Chambers, Frank M ORCID: 0000-0002-0998-2093 and Thom, Tim (2022) Evidence for the Little Ice Age in upland northwestern Europe: Multiproxy climate data from three blanket mires in northern England. Holocene, 32 (5). pp. 451-467. doi:10.1177/09596836221074036

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The Little Ice Age (LIA) is a well-recognised palaeoclimatic phenomenon, although its causes, duration and severity have been matters of debate and dispute. Data from a wide range of archives have been used to infer climate variability before, during and after the LIA. Some published proxy-climate data from peatlands imply that two particularly severe episodes within the LIA may be contemporaneous between hemispheres; these echo a previous climatic downturn ca. 2800 cal BP of similar severity but lesser duration. Here, we present palaeoclimate data from the mid- to late-Holocene, reconstructed from three blanket peats in Yorkshire: Mossdale Moor, Oxenhope Moor and West Arkengarthdale. Multiproxy techniques used for palaeoclimatic reconstruction were plant macrofossil, pollen and humification analyses. Dating was provided by a radiocarbon-based chronology, aided by spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs) for all sites, and 210Pb dates for one. The LIA presents as a distinct climatic event within each palaeoenvironmental record at the three sites. These indications are compared with terrestrial datasets from northwest Europe and elsewhere. A broad degree of synchronicity is evident, signifying that the LIA is one of the most pronounced downturns in global climate in the last ca. 6000 years, and arguably the most routinely recorded within the Holocene.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Blanket peat; Holocene; Little Ice Age; Palaeoclimate; Palaeoecology; Peatlands
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Rhiannon Goodland
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2022 16:00
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2023 11:15
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/10695

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